Officials at Dillard University are denying claims of widespread academic fraud made against the school president and several administrators between 2013 and 2019, and considering legal action against the former faculty member making a public case against the university.
According to a letter forwarded to the HBCU Digest and to several print and broadcast outlets nationwide, former College of Business Dean Christian Fugar says that President Walter Kimbrough, Dillard Vice President for Academic Affairs Yolonda Page, and others within the executive cabinet facilitated the awarding of degrees to dozens of students who had not qualified for graduation.
In a nine-page memo addressed to Dillard Board Chair and attorney Michael Jones, Fugar accused administrators of overriding academic protocols for graduation clearance, changing grades and test scores, allowing make-up examinations, and falsifying enrollment and graduation rate data to the federal government.
The memo dated June 24 also says that Dillard administrators provided fraudulent data to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) regarding faculty credentials and teaching loads.
In a statement to the Digest, officials vowed to protect the integrity of the institution against claims it describes as lies.
“Dillard University is in the process of reviewing Dr. Fugar’s correspondence and weighing all of its options, including litigation, to protect its good name and reputation as well as the reputation of our staff, students, and faculty.”
Since 2013, Dillard has not faced accreditation standards sanction for academic impropriety or faculty qualifications. The university was last reaffirmed by SACSCOC in 2020.